Turkish President Turgut Ozal indicated yesterday that Turkey would support a United Nations-sanctioned military action to force Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.

On Tuesday, the Soviet Union announced it had taken a similar position, lending new backing to the continued U.N. efforts aimed at Iraq.

In other developments relating to the Persian Gulf crisis, the Bush administration yesterday said it would seek swift congressional approval of slightly more than $7 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, telling lawmakers a new, scaled-down package has been prepared to meet the kingdom's immediate defense needs in the gulf confrontation.

Officials said the package includes smaller quantities of all the weaponry included in a $21 billion proposal advanced by the Pentagon two weeks ago. That arms package was abandoned due to congressional opposition, except for F-15 fighter aircraft. Officials said it included such top-line weapons as M-1A2 tanks, a version superior to that already deployed with U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia; Patriot air defense systems; battlefield Multiple Launch Rocket Systems; medical evacuation helicopters; Bradley fighting vehicles and TOW antitank missiles.

A formal notification of the sale was to be sent to Capitol Hill last night or today, initiating congressional review.

Turkey's Ozal, who has redeployed some of his 520,000-man army along his country's border with Iraq, said the U.N. "embargo is working in my opinion. We have to be patient. If you do not want war, then stay on the embargo as much as possible."

Ozal's comments to reporters here yesterday, followed Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze's speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly indicating Moscow might support U.N. military action to force Iraq out of Kuwait.

Ozal said there is no need for immediate military action because "time is not against the United States . . . or the Western world." But "if the United Nations decides on the armed intervention," he said, "we will not be against it." Ozal, who met with President Bush on Tuesday, said he and Bush "have not talked about any military options."

While saying he is not sure "if war is inevitable or not," Ozal said it would be "very, very difficult" for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait. "It is like suicide for him," a decision he could not explain to the Iraqi public and which could threaten his grasp on power.

Turkey's ambassador to Washington, Nuzhet Kandemir, discounted the possibility of a coup removing Saddam from power. "I do not see any person or group of persons who may carry it out," said Kandemir, who was Turkey's ambassador to Baghdad before coming to Washington.

Kandemir also said Saddam, by killing many officers whose loyalty he questioned, has taken "every precaution" to avoid assassination.

Ozal questioned the readiness of the Iraqi forces, saying Iraqi soldiers "are not 20 feet tall" and are worn out by eight years of war with Iran.

Ozal said there had been some impact on Turkey's economy from the crisis, but that this will be offset by increased aid and trade with the West.

Elsewhere yesterday, a special administration coordinating group for the front-line nations requested technical assistance from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help it set aid levels for Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.

So far, only Kuwait has pledged a specific amount of money, $300 million, Ozal said, but Bush on Tuesday promised U.S. help. Ozal said he has written to several European leaders requesting assistance, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, French President Francois Mitterrand and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, but has not received any responses.

The crisis has been a diplomatic bonanza for Turkey, which seeks admission to the European Community. Before the Iraqi invasion, Turkey's strategic importance appeared substantially diminished by the end of the Cold War.

"Maybe it is not a lucky incident, {but} it has helped Turkey to show that the Turkish strategic importance has not been lost and probably it is more so," he said.

He said that, at a minimum, Turkey will emerge with "strengthened relations with the West and better relations with Arab countries in the gulf."

Staff writers Ann Devroy and R. Jeffrey Smith contributed to this report.